This study sought to determine whether oxygen radical scavengers of dimethylthiourea (DMTU), superoxide dismutase (SOD), or catalase (CAT) pretreatment attenuated ischemia-reperfusion (I/R)-induced lung injury. After isolation from a Sprague-Dawley rat, the lungs were perfused through the pulmonary artery cannula with rat whole blood diluted 1:1 with a physiological salt solution. An acute lung injury was induced by 10 minutes of hypoxia with 5% CO2-95% N2 followed by 65 minutes of ischemia and then 65 minutes of reperfusion. I/R significantly increased microvascular permeability as measured by the capillary filtration coefficient (Kfc), lung weight-to-body weight ratio (LW/BW), and protein concentration in bronchoalveolar lavage fluid (PCBAL). DMTU pretreatment significantly attenuated the acute lung injury. The capillary filtration coefficient (P<.01), LW/BW (P<.01) and PCBAL (P<.05) were significantly lower among the DMTU-treated rats than hosts pretreated with SOD or CAT. The possible mechanisms of the protective effect of DMTU in I/R-induced lung injury may relate to the permeability of the agent allowing it to scavenge intracellular hydroxyl radicals. However, whether superoxide dismutase or catalase antioxidants showed protective effects possibly due to their impermeability of the cell membrane not allowing scavenging of intracellular oxygen radicals.
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